The citizens of Mehring in the Altötting district have spoken out against wind turbines in their municipal area by a large majority. They rejected the plans in both a council decision and a referendum, as Mayor Robert Buchner (Free Voters) announced on Sunday evening upon request.
Bavaria's largest wind farm is to be built in the Altöttinger Forest. With a total output of 288 megawatts, it will also supply the Bavarian chemical triangle with electricity. According to current plans, there should be ten of around 40 wind turbines in the Mehring area.
The council's decision was rejected by 876 votes to 525; Here the citizens were asked whether they would support the planning and construction of the wind turbines. In the referendum, 928 eligible voters voted yes and 454 voted no. The question here was whether the community should do everything to prevent the wind turbines.
“It’s a shame that the majority were against it,” said Mayor Buchner. “I can’t yet assess how much impact this will have on the construction of the wind farm.” At least what was achieved was that the vast majority went to the polls: voter turnout was 75 percent.
The “Gegenwind Altötting” initiative, which initiated the citizens’ initiative, welcomed the result. “This shows that people are committed to their forest, their environment and their homeland,” commented Rainer Harböck of the initiative. “Now we can take the next steps with confidence.” Further citizens' initiatives are planned in neighboring communities, including in Marktl on June 9th for the European elections.
Plans for wind turbines were recently underway in seven communities. The Mehring local council had already approved the project at the beginning of 2023. He will now request that the consent be revoked, said Mayor Buchner. “If the approval process comes about, we have to refuse our consent because the will of the citizens is binding.” Legally, this only applies for one year. But: “We have to be guided by the will of the people,” said Buchner.